Thinking back to about 15 or so years ago. It was the end of a long work shift in customer service. One of those days where I just wanted to relax and hang out with my husband – vent a little – over a beer or two. I stopped into the Steamworks.
We lived in Vancouver at the time, and the Steamworks was a new brewery that opened in 1995 with the help of Brew Meister Shirley Warn. It was just a skip away from where I worked in Gastown. I had not been there before and I was meeting my husband so we could go to our regular spot and have a few pints of something or other on tap.
As I sat on the patio waiting the waiter told me about their beer selection and my eyes glazed over not really recognizing the names of anything. My husband usually ordered the beer when we went out, and he would get something Amber, Cream Ale or Nut Brown. Until the waiter said “cherry” he had not really grabbed my attention.
I had never had a cherry beer and I thought – this might be something I would like – so I would give it a go!
When I got it, I was instantly delighted! It wasn’t the standard yellow or brown ale I was used to drinking. It had a fruity tartness to it and I was surprised it was 8%. When my husband showed up he also tried the cherry beer and thought it was delicious.
This was my first real moment that I thought – beer could be something more. I started paying more attention to what was being offered on the menu. When the waiter would tell us the selection, I usually would wait till he got to the bottom of the list, that was where the better stuff seemed to be.
I went back to the Steamworks every now and then after my shift and I tried the different selections they had on tap. A stout, Pale Ale, Wheat Ale and Nut Brown. I asked for the Cherry again, and was told it was a Seasonal and they had switched to a different beer. A seasonal! Our minds were once again blown by a Pumpkin Ale.
Later on my husband got a job working as a bartender in a different place that had a selection of microbrews on tap. When I would go to visit him he would tell me about some of the different beers. We got to try some stuff from R&B Brewing, and Storm – to name a few. We would seek out different things at the liquor store and specialty beer stores like “Brewery Creek”
We both became really interested in the different styles of beer and we wanted to know more about them. We started brewing our own beers together and have learnt so many things since. We have often wondered how we have changed in the way we appreciate beer and if we were to try the same beers we did 15 or so years ago what we would think today. Would the beers taste the same, were they made the same way they once were? That being said we have undergone a significant lupulin threshold shift.